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Jumatano, 3 Agosti 2016

TODAY I WOKE UP WITH THE SONG KWA MJOMBA BY URAFIKI JAZZ BAND


I woke up today with a 1970s Urafiki Jazz Band's tune Kwa Mjomba singing in my brain. The song was composed by Frank Masamba who was a vocalist then but now a saxaphonist and also teaches saxophone. The lyrics of this song  talk about this young guy who visited his uncle and met his beautiful cousin and fell in love with her, but was told he could not marry his cousin but wait for any other girl and someday will fall in love again. The song was very popular during its days, and is still being aired in some radio programs to date. Here are the lyrics;
Nilipokwenda kwa mjomba, Nilikutana na binamu yangu,
Na kwa kweli tulipendana, wazazi wetu walitukatalia tusioane
Eti kwa sababu yeye ni mtoto wa mjomba,
Ndivyo ilivyokuwa vigumu kwetu kufunga ndoa
Nilipokwenda kwa mjomba, Nilikutana na binamu yangu,
Na kwa kweli tulipendana, wazazi wetu walitukatalia tusioane
Eti kwa sababu yeye ni mtoto wa mjomba,
Ndivyo ilivyokuwa vigumu kwetu kufunga ndoa

       Chorus
Wazazi ninansema nasononeka, kwa vile msichana nilimpenda
Basi mwanangu nakuomba usisikitike sana , tuliza roho dunia hii ni pana sana kijana
Wazazi ninansema nasononeka, kwa vile msichana nilimpenda
Utampata wako mwingine pia utampenda, mtoto wa mjomba kweli kuoana si vizuri

Wazazi ninansema nasononeka, kwa vile msichana nilimpenda
Basi mwanangu nakuomba usisikitike sana , tuliza roho dunia hii ni pana sana kijana
Wazazi ninansema nasononeka, kwa vile msichana nilimpenda
Utampata wako mwingine pia utampenda, mtoto wa mjomba kweli kuoana si vizuri

The bands style was 'Mchakachaka' but fondly named 'Chakachua'. The word has changed its meaning now mostly because politicians have made it famous making it mean hoodwinking.  Urafiki Jazz Band was formed in 1970. It was owned by a textile mill known then as  FRIENDSHIP TEXTILE MILL. The company was so named as a sign of friendship between Tanzania and China. It was the Chinese who built the mill.The bands main purpose was to advertise the Khanga and Vitenge products that were being manufactured by the mill. At the time there was stiff competition from other textile mills like Mwatex , Kiltex, Mutex, and so on. The then General Manager of the mill, Mr Joseph Rwegasira (late) dished out 50,000/- which was enough to buy a set of music instruments from Dar es Salaam Music House. The shop is still in business to date. The company management engaged Mr Juma Feruzi Mrisho aka Ngulimba wa Ngulimba a veteran vocalist to come up with a band. Ngulimba took 5 musicians from the band he had just left, African Quilado and they became the core of the new band. He brought in  Michael Vincent Semgumi a lead guitarist, to date one of the best lead guitarists Tanzania has ever come up with, Ayoub Iddi Dhahabu on the bass guitar, Abassi Saidi Nyanga,Tenor Sax, Fida Saidi on Alto Sax. Other musicians were already employees of the company, like Juma Ramadhani Lidenge on the Second Solo guitar, Mohamed Bakari Churchil on rhythm guitar, Ezekiel Mazanda also a  rhythm guitarist, Abassi Lulela another bass guitarist, Hamisi Nguru, Mussa Kitumbo, Cleaver Ulanda all being vocalists, Maarifa Ramadhani on the congas, Juma Saidi on maraccass and Hamisi Mashala playing the drums . That was the firs line up of Urafiki Jazz Band. The band began with its 'Mchakamchaka' style later on changed to 'chakachua' and in its last day in the 80s went on to ‘Pasua’ and lastly ‘Patashika’. Many musicians joined and left this band other famous names of the time include Gideon Banda the saxophonist from  Morogoro Jazz, Thobias Cosmas Chidumule still famous vocalist who has now turned to gospel music, who together with Frank Mahulu joined the group coming from another great group The Western Jazz Band that was sometimes in 1973. Mkali and Hidaya,Trumpet blowers from the nearby town Morogoro accompanied by Ali Saidi, a rythm guitarist from Cuban Marimba, joined the band and in 1975 Mganga Hemedi a rythm guitarist from Atomic jazz band of Tanga joined this great group. Urafiki Jazz Band recorded more than three hundred songs covering subject like love, politics and everyday life in Tanzania at the time. A number of its songs are still being aired and some groups have even recorded their version of the songs. In
1975 the band took part in a Band competition which was held at Mnazi Mmoja Grounds and came third, this gave a ticket to the Band leader Ngulimba to travel with the band that won ( Afro 70 Band) to Lagos for the FESTAC festival held that year.

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